Glogster is a web-based tool that allows to create interactive posters in an online form with multimedia content. Glogster EDU is specially designed for education, as opposed to the original Glogster.com being a social network. EDU’s interface is thought for classroom purposes and allows to create private network environment to share Glogs (graphic blogs)
HOW IT WORKS
Teachers can create a Glogster EDU account for free and create/add up to 200 students. Student’s accounts can be created by the teacher or by parents receiving a link and educator’s code via email. It ensures parental approval and parents usually like Globster as a learning tool. The teachers’ dashboard interface allows to manage students and create virtual classrooms. Blogs progression can also be monitored through it. You can create class projects (assignments) with descriptions and assign them to different classes. There is a notification system to alert students of new elements. (More features and students capacity are available by purchasing subscriptions)
A Glog can include a lot by incorporating all types of elements into the same visual space: links, images, text, videos, music, etc. Elements can be taken from internet, student’s original files, and even allows to capture sound or video directly from computer in the web interface.
Students can do long term projects and save their work by choosing if they are finished or not so they don’t have to publish it incomplete. A great point is that students can share their work with other students in a private environment making the task more concrete.
The interface for students is really user-friendly. All options are organized and labeled in a simple magnetic toolbox. Posters design is done in a free environment where you can move and resize everything really naturally. There is a lot of interesting tools such as speech bubbles, cartoon effects, picture editing, all easy to access for students and it offers lots of inspiring templates.
HOW TO USE IT FOR THE CLASSROOM
Here are few examples:
– Creation of ‘’visual essays’’ or summaries (visual interpretation of the main concepts of a text)
– As they can include links and incorporate elements from the web, you can ask them to do comparisons of online content
– Creation of an online literary magazine
– Collective class-separated posters project
– Presentation of a research project – or to create an extension for it
A good idea with Glogster is to start a new project each time you finish a unit. This way students can access and review their own work (and unit) later whiteout having anyone handing back sheets, documents or evaluations.
Like any application to education, Glogster should be used through the learning process and not as a learning process. There are teachers that have found Globster projects too demanding and some found bugs but most of comments that are found over the web are good experiences .
Glogster can bring the learning experience further by ‘’extending your students’ intellectual reach and mastering the media to incorporate new technologies and richer messages’’ (teachersfirst.com). Classroom uses listed as examples in this article are thought this way. While they create visual essays, they use their skimming and summarizing ability to produce a creative content. The content is visual but as it is a Glog (easy to edit and use different type of content), it doesn’t not require artistic talent to be interesting and attracting. By comparing online content they have to and work on their critical and synthesis skills. It also takes part of their web education and judgement development. The sharing is also a good way to give meaning to the task and make it more concrete. They know their posters will be available for other students and that Glogs are meant to be interactive.
Glog is a great application for teacher with a full-of-feature free version.
As ALL teaching apps, it’s a tool that, in small time, can become a useful tool.